Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DEEVIL, n. and int. A Gen.Sc. form of Eng. devil; found also in derivatives such as deevilry, deev(i)lish [+ ɪtʃ Abd., Bwk.], deevil(i)dge (Mearns, Bwk.), deevilment, etc. Also in use in Nhb. dial. Cf. Deil, n. The following usages are peculiar to Sc. [′div(ə)l]

1. n.

(1) A colloq. term for a shoemaker's last (Abd.2, Abd.9 1940). Abd. 1873 J. Ogg Willie Waly 60:
Caul' chisels, an' gimlets, an' aul' “sootars, deevils.”

(2) A potato-digger. Bch. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 2:
Booet two-faul ahin' the deevil, Haivin' tatties in a scull.

(3) In n. combs.: (a) deevil's buckie, see Buckie, n.6; (b) deevil's craft = Clootie's craft s.v. Clootie, adj.3, n.2, q.v.; (c) deevil's-delight, buttermilk (Dwn. 1948 (per Uls.4)); (d) devil's faulie = (b) and see quot. s.v.; (e) devil's peat, a rascal. (b) ne.Sc. 1929 J. M. McPherson Prim. Beliefs 134:
A piece of land dedicated to the devil and left untilled . . . got various names . . . the Deevil's Craft, Clootie's Craft, the Black Faulie. [Ib. 136, deevil's faulie.]
(c) Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 40:
Then it's a patfu' o' half-raw tatties . . . an' a drink o' deevil's-delight to synd it down.
(e) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvii.:
Ye are baith a pair o' the deevil's peats, I trow — hard to ken whilk deserves the hettest corner o' his ingle-side.

2. int. Used to express indignation or anger. Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf ii.:
Deevil, that neither I nor they ever stir from this spot more!

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"Deevil n., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2020 <>



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